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From Afghanistan to Switzerland


Fostering young asylum seekers


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The Kochs are one of the foster families hosting unaccompanied underage asylum seekers in Switzerland. Many of the 5,000 young people here have to stay in special asylum shelters. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)

In the canton of Aargau, 30 of 240 children and adolescents are staying with a Swiss family. The Koch family in Dietwil took in an underage Afghani nine months ago. The young asylum seeker, who wished to withhold his name, had fled his home country without his family and didn’t speak a word of German when he arrived in Switzerland. Today he attends the normal state school, but still needs private teaching from his foster parents.

The Kochs have four children of their own. The young Afghani has quickly become part of the family. He calls his foster mother “mum” and spends a lot of time with his foster brothers. His goal is to become fully integrated in Swiss society and to find an apprenticeship in the skilled trade sector. The family also gets extra support from a social worker to help with bureaucracy and communicating with the authorities.